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Not surprisingly, we have such a different view about fetuses and their alleged “rights” that we haven’t resolved the issue of coverage of “reproductive health” and abortion in the healthcare bill. You would grant constitutional rights to what the Religious Right calls the “preborn.”
Let me ask what your view is on the “already born.” News accounts this morning chronicle the beginnings of a second-degree homicide trial for a father who allegedly allowed his young daughter to die from juvenile diabetes. (The mother has already been convicted.) His defense, in part, is that he didn’t know his daughter had a serious illness and that he was praying for her recovery, whatever she had. Do you believe that his presumably authentic and deep-rooted spiritual belief in divine intervention in curing illness should be a legal defense in a criminal trial?
Most of your colleagues are avid supporters of “parental rights” — choosing what school a child attends (even if it is a private religious school and you still want me to pay for it via school vouchers); helping shape the curriculum in a public schools by eliminating sex education or inserting “intelligent design” alongside evolution in the biology class. Do parents have a right to believe in prayer so strongly that they leave the health care of their children up to God? Or, do young children have a “right” to be free from potentially dangerous forms of belief held by their parents?
I do support the right of informed adults to choose to forego potentially lifesaving treatments on the basis of religious or other deeply held philosophical views. The courts generally support that view. With minors, though, whose claims ought to be paramount?
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